NEW YORK, April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Viacom and The Associated Press have partnered in a unique approach to uncovering insights on the educational system in America: listening to the young adults whose opinions matter most. Based on a combination of peer-to-peer interviews and a large-scale poll of more than 1,100 American 18-24 year-olds, the results provide a new understanding of the educational issues and opportunities seen as most important to this generation.
This week, The Associated Press will release a series of articles based on the groundbreaking study entitled Young Adults Perspectives on American Education 2011, which was conducted by Viacom and The Associated Press in coordination with Stanford University and research firms Brand Amplitude and GfK, Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. Based on the study, these articles profile the impact of the extended economic malaise on the attitudes and worries of young adults about education, the economy and the future. Upcoming articles address student assessments of their educational experience, how college students pay the bills and make college work for them, and a look at the challenges facing young people who go straight from high school to the workforce.
Findings released today in the first article reveal that while this is a financially worried generation, Americans' penchant for optimism persists among young Americans. Ninety percent of young adults are confident they will find a career that will bring them happiness and 87 percent are generally happy with their lives. Furthermore, family and friends are viewed as a positive influence.
Financial decisions are a significant factor in almost every life decision young Americans are facing – whether to go to college, which college to attend, and career options. Nineteen percent of African Americans said money was the "single most important factor" in deciding where to go to college, about double the level of whites or Hispanics. Only about half of current college students plan on entering the workforce after completing school – about three in 10 are planning to extend their studies.
Young adults' financial anxieties are not just future oriented.
- Sixty-five percent of young Americans are worried about having enough money to make it through the week – including 69 percent of African American youth and 71 percent of Hispanic youth.
- Seventy percent worry about their parents' financial situation.
- Nineteen percent have seen a parent lose a job during this school year.
"Understanding the concerns, attitudes and aspirations of audiences is at the core of everything we do at Viacom," said Colleen Fahey Rush, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer, MTV Networks. "We have a deep commitment to listening to what they have to say so we can find compelling ways to address the issues that matter most to them. The importance of education to our viewers led Viacom to launch Get Schooled, an effort aimed at connecting young adults with the educational information and inspiration they need to succeed. This study sheds new light on young people's expectations of the role advanced education plays in preparing them for careers and the future, and the challenges they face in attaining it. Most importantly, it uncovers new ideas for making education relevant today, directly from those who are most affected by it."
The full report will be available on the Get Schooled website, www.getschooled.com on April 21.
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